Stackoverflow - The answer to your Programming Question

Do you use Experts-Exchange to get your programming questions answered?

Well I do and it works sometimes but more and more lately the are no answers at all to my programming questions. I think this is because you are now able to just purchase unlimited "points" and never have to give back and try to help others by answering their questions.

Welcome a creation of Jeff Atwood, Joel Spolsky, and their team of developers. You can read their SO (stackoverflow) blog at and download the podcast here. is a Programming Question and Answer site with a social twist that seems to be working well. I was lucky and snagged an invite for the very brief private beta test. The private beta only lasted about 8 weeks or so and just went public around 9.17.2008. and is now open to anyone.

Part of the charm, advantage, and possibly biggest problem is that there is no login required to post questions or answers. However if you use your OpenID to login and setup your profile you can earn reputation points. As you gain rep you earn more privileges within the system like editing someone else's question or even closing it altogether like a forum moderator. You earn points by posting a question or answer and having it voted up. You can also vote down a Q or A but it will cost you as well as the person you target with your down voting wrath. ;-) To encourage favored behavior on stackoverflow you can also earn bronze, silver, and gold badges for your profile.

I've had problems with down voting from my first day. I really don't think questions should be voted down below zero. But the reality, is that people like me vote up marginally off topic questions and it seems to be enough to offset the off topic police. In this case ON topic is asking only Programming related questions. Not questions a programmer has, which for me sometimes lean towards IT. But specifically Programming questions.

You can get away with marginal IT questions especially if you can phrase the question in a programming context. For instance instead of asking "How can I find my IP address?" you should ask "How can I find my IP address Programmatically?". The first will get your question immediately down voted to virtual extinction, the second will probably be left alone and answered fairly swiftly.

You are probably wondering about the bottom line "Will my question be answered, and how quickly?". The answer is "almost absolutely" and "almost immediately" depending on how specifically difficult your question happens to be.

The best part of all is that it is completely free to ask, answer, and view anything thanks to minimally invasive ad support.

I've actually cross posted a few programming questions on the paid experts-exchange website as well as and stackoverflow won each time in both speed and answer value.

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